Why You Should Do It First and Gain Confidence Second
This is a Guest post from Amanda DiSilvestro. You can read about Amanda at the end of this post.
I think one of the biggest reasons we lose confidence is because we don’t know what to expect.
We’re scared and we’re nervous, and right there you have a recipe for anything but confidence. I first learned this when I decided I wanted to become a teacher. I thought ‘I love kids,’ but what I forgot was that I don’t love public speaking.
I would often stand in front of the classroom and feel every emotion except for confidence—what a first-time teacher needs the most. After all, a million things can go wrong:
- A student could ask a question and I won’t know the answer.
- I could give the student the wrong answer and then another student could inform the class that I am wrong.
- I could give out the wrong homework assignment, which would then ruin my lesson plans for the next day.
- A student could completely ignore what I’m saying and force me to yell at him/her (which can be quite nerve-racking for a new teacher).
- I could teach an entire lesson incorrectly and not realize my mistake (diagramming sentences can be tricky!)
I would try to prepare for all the unexpected questions heading my way. This helped me gain a bit of confidence, but I wouldn’t say I felt confident.
This can apply to anything you do that makes you nervous—
- going on a first date,
- going on a first interview,
- posting that controversial blog post that you really want to show the world.
We are afraid of the unexpected, and there is no denying that this can shake our confidence.
If You Know the Order of Things, You Gain Confidence.
Another teacher in the school told me that she used to get nervous talking in front of the classroom. She found that it was best to find your confidence after you teach a class as opposed to before giving your lesson.
This led me to wonder: Why would someone want to improve their confidence after they needed it the most?
The truth is—you always want confidence, even if this confidence is gained after you do the thing that makes you most afraid. The more you do something, the more confident you will become.
Why? Because you will know the order of things, and you will not be going into a similar situation blindly in the future.
I slowly started gaining confidence in front of the classroom because I knew what to expect.
I didn’t need to psyche myself up to give a lesson, but rather held onto the confidence I’d gained after all of my previous lessons had ended. I knew my day would go something like this:
- Hear the kids complain that they didn’t understand the homework and they needed more time (sometimes this will be true; other times not so much).
- Give my lesson and get asked questions. If I don’t know the answer to a question, just let them know I will get back to them tomorrow.
- Double check the homework I am assigning and make sure I give a due date.
After a while, I started to gain confidence because I knew the order in which things were going to happen.
This helps me be mentally prepared without having to actually prepare before each class. If you get nervous blogging or get nervous going on interviews, just know that the confidence will come with practice.
In the comments…
- Have you ever found that you find your confidence after the event?
- Tell us about a time when confidence has come to you, afterwards.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to phone systems. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including credit card processing to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.